A Little Chaotic

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These past few weeks have been barely controlled chaos for our families. Heart surgery in one, broken pelvis in another, then I’m having trouble with double vision. Just a lot of medical stuff. Some of it is still up in the air, but I’m confident that we’ll get it figured out.


Sewing

I wrapped up sewing classes a couple weeks ago. My final project was doing a quilted bag with a zipper.

Quilted Zipper Bag
Outside of the zippered bag
Inside Quilted Bag
Interior of the bag

I had finally finished my four training courses. I feel like I can learn to do a lot of things, and I’ve asked the really sweet sewing teacher if we might get together some, and do informal classes. I feel very grateful to someone who has taught me a life skill. Sure I paid a class fee, but you can’t ignore a wonderful personality with a giving spirit. She called to check on me after I told her I was having some double vision. The girl that was taking classes with me had to leave early for work the week before, and the instructor wanted to know if I’d like to come work. I told her that I really wasn’t supposed to drive alone, and that I wouldn’t have a ride in on time.

At my final official sewing class I earned my own pair of scissors that I got to pick out. Earned ScissorsIt’s kind of hard to tell in the picture, but it’s basically pink and white flowers.

I also got this cute paper:Sewing Machine LicenseIf anyone in the Huntsville metro area is interested in taking classes thru her, let me know. I highly recommend her, and her price really isn’t bad at all for what you are getting out of the class. I look forward to getting together with her and sewing on our own projects.

At home I had originally decided to sell my dining room furniture that is never used, and get rid of a piece of a red sectional couch that we had as an intact piece at one time until my dog named Cisco tore it with his toenails a few years ago. BJ said he thought it would be better if I had my sewing studio in the basement. We hardly ever use the basement for anything other than tornado warnings and to store things. I have some items that I can sell, so I intend to do that.

We have a plastic folding table that I will be using which is long enough for me to put my little countertop ironing board on.

Iron
This is a Black and Decker “Classic” iron. I saw it advertised as one of the highest recommended for new sewers.

I had BJ buy some white pegboard from work. He hung it above my sewing station where I would have the best way to reach everything on it. I ordered some pegs, and after they arrived I decided I could hang my thread from the pegs. A tiny curtain rod balanced between two pegs holds my scissors, and will hold another of my rotary cutters. I bought a little lamp off of Craigslist, and got an LED lightbulb for it. It’s going to work out just fine. We’re still working out the details of how fabric is going to be stored, but we’ve got a couple of ideas.Sewing Room Progress 2

 

I have gotten a few adult coloring books, and as I was flipping thru one I happened to see a sewing machine shaped sort of like the old Singer brand machines. I decided to get out my colored pencils and make a little art work for my studio.

All my things are ready, now I just have to get some ideas of what I’d like to try to sew.


Dinner Date With My Hubby

BJ and I love to go to fun new places, especially local ones. There is a new general store/game room/restaurant/bar downtown. It is near Washington Square, which has a neat vibe about it.Washington Square

There was even a neat mural in this alleyway.IMG_2445 2

BJ and I went into a couple of boutique stores around the corner from where we parked, and then we went in the the White’s Mercantile which houses an arcade and this bar. Pints and Pixels is the name of it.IMG_2444 2

BJ was in hog heaven when we went in. There were 80’s and 90’s era video games all over the place. Music from the 80’s is being played, and on their television screens are the videos from those songs. IMG_2452The restaurant housed here is another location of a place BJ and I have been to many times over the past few years. The table decor was plastic bead “sculptures” of the flowers that come up out of the pipes in the Super Mario Brothers game. IMG_2448The waitress gave us each 3 coins to play games with. I went first. I picked out Donkey Kong, Mortal Kombat, and Pac Man.

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After our black bean burgers, BJ and I got up to leave, but he wanted to play NBA Jam. I indulged him, and played a little. He had fun. BJ Playing

After eating we went downstairs to the Mercantile store and looked around. They had some neat, but expensive things there. I did get silly, and try on a hat, but we didn’t buy anything.

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The Garden

My straw bales are doing very well, and before we know it, we’ll have zucchini and summer squash. Luckily if we can’t eat it all, I’m going to learn how to can it. I also have several tomatoes coming up. I put some crushed eggshells on them the other day for calcium, and I have some more to put on there today. IMG_2465

IMG_2468My poor herbs just don’t seem to be doing too well. I’m going to have to figure out a plan B on some things. Summer has sneaked upon us. I can’t wait for my first homegrown tomato sandwich. Now that’s good eating!

Parkway SunsetAs I say good evening to you, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

 

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Life at Home

Whos Up There
Whatcha doin up there?

Garden

It’s getting closer every day to the time when I can plant all the seeds I’ve acquired. We’re in the process of fertilizing the straw bale gardens. It has about 5 days left until we can put our soil on the top. You can technically plant transplants or plants that are already growing into the straw bale. You just make a bit of a hole in the soil and straw. I prefer to start with seeds, because they are cheaper to start with. If you would like to learn more about straw bale gardening, I recommend Straw Bale Gardening by Joel Karsten. Amazon has an updated version of the book that was published in February 2015. I have an older version, but it is still relevant. In the book you follow a 12 day process of alternating amounts of fertilizer on one day, and then watering another day. I’m hoping they do really well this year. Dirt In Flowerbed We finally were able to get fill dirt to add to our flower/herb garden. BJ went to get a pickup truck bed full of the dirt. He brought his truck into the backyard, and we shoveled dirt out of the truck into the middle of the flowerbed. Yesterday, BJ added compost and vermiculite to the dirt. It is supposed to rain soon, but as soon as the dirt is a little dryer I’ll start putting dirt into the holes of the cinder blocks. It won’t be long before I’m able to start planting all my seeds. I’m so excited. Now if I could just deal with that pesky pollen!

BJ’s “Honey Do” list keeps growing, poor guy! I decided I’d like a bench to sit outside and enjoy the yard. He can get pallets basically for free from work, so I’m looking up plans of different benches and chairs made from pallets. I’ve already told him that I’d like a greenhouse in the back yard, and he wants to build a small storage building to store the mowers and garden implements in.

Denver Stretching


 

Reading

I have a ridiculous amount of books to read, but I always seem to be acquiring more. I found a larger local used bookstore that has a pretty good selection, but their prices are a little higher than I’d like to pay. My favorite spot to get used books is the “Friends of the Public Library” bookstore. They have a lot of cool books in a small space, and the prices are amazing. I also buy a ton of ebooks on Amazon for my Kindle app. I honestly don’t think I’ll ever be able to read all the books that I’ve downloaded. I have a bunch of different wish lists on Amazon, but I have a physical book list, and a Kindle book list.

Due to the migraines I had been having, I was having a very hard time with concentration. The headaches are almost gone now, so I’m able to focus much more easily. I found a book at the library bookstore that was on my Kindle wish list. Online it is $20 for a new book, and the digital addition is $13.49. I found this book for the outrageous price of $1.00. I have started reading it, and I’m enjoying it so far.

The book is called Radical Homemakers by Shannon Hayes, if you’d like to check it out on Amazon just click here. So far the book seems to focus not on homemaking as a duty of non-working women staying home and slaving away in servitude of a husband. This book highlights that homemaking is something for everyone single, married, male, female, young, or old. The main idea is that over the last couple generations, we have lost many of the essential skills to be as self-sufficiency. As I read thru the book I will update on my feelings of what I’m reading.

Book

The book is inspiring me to work harder at having a self-sufficient lifestyle. It’s amazing how much money BJ and I have wasted on non-essential items. I want to maximize our savings budget, and learn things that are useful. I’m seriously considering taking a beginner’s sewing class. I have been wanting to learn to sew for years.


 

My Self-sufficient Trials and Errors

When teaching ourselves new tasks realizing there is a high probably of failure is something that I’ve struggled with. I’m working to learn more and more every day. I absolutely love to learn, and there’s so many chances to learn every single day.

I had a trial and error with baking some bread this week. I bought a dry grinding container for my blender that breaks down wheat berries. I had gotten a bag of both hard red wheat berries, and hard white wheat berries. I had been hesitant to take the plunge to grind the wheat and make bread with it. The blender ground up the hard red wheat berries beautifully, my only problem is I didn’t feel how ground up it was until I had already started using it. I think next time I’ll make sure it’s ground finer.

Grinding Flour I let the yeast rest in hot sugar water for 15 minutes, and then I poured in half of the flour. My second mistake was that I didn’t allow the flour to be incorporated enough. Next time I’ll mix it longer. Then I put in the other half of the wheat in the mixer. It never seemed to have the consistency of my prior bread doughs. Perhaps the gluten wasn’t being properly stretched. I probably should have let that mix longer as well. I turned it out onto a floured board and kneaded it a little. I let it rise for an hour in an oiled bowl. I could actually hear it making a crackling sound as it was rising. At the end of the rise I was supposed to punch down the dough, knead it a little and turn it out onto a floured board. I cut the dough in half, and put each loaf in my silicone bread pans. I let them rise for another 30 minutes, and then I stuck them in the oven. I always cut a slice off the end off one of the loaves to test it out. It was just ok, it didn’t taste as good and didn’t seem to be too dense.

Bread Dough
Bread Rising

I’m ok with there being some trial and error as long as I’m learning.

As I try to master the art of homemaking, I will be updating here.

 

 

I Haven’t Forgotten

 

Rose
Rose from our front flowerbed

I really haven’t forgotten about the blog. I’ve just neglected it. We’ve had a whirlwind of activity around here in the past few weeks. There have been many changes in our family’s lives in both scary and exciting ways. My father-in-law had a massive heart attack, and after several scary days of waiting, his body healed enough for the doctors to put a stent in an artery that was 99% occluded. He is on the mend, but he has two more arteries that need stents. Those will be done after more healing occurs.


 

Princess

Princess2

When I was 18-years old, I moved into BJ’s parent’s home. I lived in the basement. One Saturday I came home, and there was a little fluffball of a puppy. BJ had gotten this sweet little dog for me from the local flea market. We named her Princess, and she was so much fun. She slept in the bed with me at night while she was little. When BJ and I moved into an apartment in 2000, I had to leave Princess with BJ’s parents. Before long they moved further out into the country and Princess had plenty of room to run and play. She was so fast and smart. She was part border collie, and part jack russell. She would run beside your car as you drove up the long driveway, and she could keep up with us while we were going as fast as 25mph. She lived a very long and happy life. She always recognized us when we came to visit my in-laws, and would try to “talk” to us with little noises. As she aged she finally lost her sight to cataracts and appeared to have lost her hearing. A couple weeks ago we went to my in-law’s house, and I noticed I didn’t see her sitting in her normal spot by the kitchen door. My mother-in-law didn’t want me to know, but Princess was missing. Apparently she wandered off, perhaps to cross the rainbow bridge on her own. It is so hard to believe after so many years that I won’t see that sweet pup when I go to my in-law’s. She was one of the first major gifts BJ got for me, and it was like the end of a chapter or our lives to realize she is now gone forever. We searched for her in the dark, and the family had searched the day before. She will forever hold a piece of my heart as my Princess, the thing BJ calls me each night as we say goodnight.

Princess
Princess a few months ago with a coat my mother-in-law got her.

 

Plants and Spring

Bluebells
Bluebell flowers BJ got me.

Spring has now made it’s appearance after a rather mild winter. All the seeds I’ve been looking at for months, are close to being ready to plant. We should be getting a truck bed full of dirt soon to fill the large cinderblock flowerbed. That will be filled with different flower seeds. I’m ready to fill the holes of the cinder blocks with herbs. We have started this year’s straw bales. You prepare them for 12 days before putting down a layer of soil on top, and then you are ready to plant your vegetable seeds. I had originally wanted to do 10 bales, but the bales are slightly expensive so we decided on 8. To prevent the avalanche of straw during the middle of the growing season like last year, BJ cut up some wooden pallets, and held them in place with pieces of rebar.

Straw Bales 2016

There will be T-posts on each end, and several levels of wire strung across to each T-post to use as a trellis. We’re also planning on putting something on the ends of the straw bales. Side of Straw Bales

I will be growing some things in buckets too. This past weekend I planted dahlia bulbs in medium size flower pots. I stuck them on either side of the patio paver walkway near the main flowerbed. I repotted some plants I had in the kitchen. BJ had gotten me a couple of beautiful pots that I used.

I put my jade an aloe in the pots, and I had another pot with an overgrown mother-in-law tongue that had a lot of dead leaves. I dumped it out, and sorted out the green growth, and then centered it in the pot.


Moving Forward

As long as I can remember in my life I have always looked towards the future, and what my plans and goals are. It catapulted me thru college so quickly that I had a master’s degree in nursing by the time I was 23. Many things in my life have changed over the years, just like they do in everyone’s lives. I am looking at life in a different way than what I had planned for years. Although things will be very different than what I had envisioned before, I’m still hopeful. On April 4th, BJ and I celebrated the 18th anniversary of us becoming a couple. It has been wonderful having him in my life, and the vision of us spending our lives together remains the same. Our ability to grow and change together as time goes on keeps us strong.

My thoughts about my personal future is that I’ll be taking time to learn many things and devoting time to my health. I will be studying things that will improve our self-sufficiency like gardening, sewing, herbalism, homemaking, and maximizing our finances. There are many things I am interested in, and of course there isn’t time for everything, but I’m dedicated to doing the most that I can. Like the quote in my craft room says, “Bloom where you are planted”. I want to make the most of each day ahead of BJ and I both.

 

Catching Up

Purple

The weekend after I visited my mom I spent mostly hanging out in the craft room. I was feeling a little down, so Saturday night BJ took me to Big Spring Park to enjoy the fresh air and beautiful night.

Gorgeous Night

This park is always pretty, but that night it was especially magical looking. The spring is full of koi fish, some are absolutely huge. There are lots of ducks to feed. We walked some so I could get a little exercise. I stopped to take in how pretty the city looks at night.

Big Spring Park 1

Night Out


The week started out with BJ working closing shifts. I went for a walk in the neighborhood Monday afternoon. I had gone to get acupuncture and then some groceries. I hung out in my craft room listening to music.

Tuesday night we found out that my father-in-law had had a massive heart attack. I had actually been the one to talk him into going to the hospital. He thought it was just heartburn. I had missed a few days earlier and his family doctor also thought it was something like heartburn.

Wednesday morning we found out how serious my father-in-law’s heart attack had been, and we drove to see him in the ICU. It was a very scary time with a lot of worried family members. Since I have a medical background I did a some translation of what the doctor and nurses were saying to the family. We stayed at the ICU waiting room with the family until the last visiting hours. We came home to let Joey out and to feed Denver.

Thursday morning the rain was pouring. A few days earlier I had noticed a spot on the ceiling of my craft room that looked like it had some water damage. BJ went into the attic, and didn’t see any signs of a leak. He figures that the rain at another time had blown under the soffit. While he was up in the attic he found a box of wedding momentos that I had been looking for. I’m so excited, because some of the things in there will be used in my shadowbox displaying some items from our wedding.

Tiara Later in the day we went back to see BJ’s dad. We got to see our nephews that live part of the time in Boston. One of my nephews I hadn’t seen in a couple of years. We didn’t stay too long because the weather was going to get bad. I have a phobia of tornadoes, and as we were leaving the hospital the tornado sirens started sounding. I found the radar on my phone, and then pulled up a live stream from television of the weather. It was just north of us as we travelled home. The sky was so ominous looking. We finally made it home safely, and I was feeling less anxious.

Friday morning BJ went fishing with my stepdad, and I worked on some product reviews. I began having a headache, so I fell asleep a couple of times in my recliner. In the afternoon my dad came to visit. I stayed home while BJ went to visit his dad who had been moved to a regular room, because he was slowly improving. My dad and I went out to eat, and I had some vegetarian chili with cornbread, and my dad had a different kind of chili.Doggie BookendsI had requested that my dad bring these doggie bookends from my grandmother’s house to me. I don’t know exactly how old they are, but I know for sure that there are pictures from the 50’s of them in my grandmother’s house. I’m so excited to be able to use them in my craft room. I’ve always loved them. My bookcase is full, so this will hold books on top of a plastic shelving unit. I have too many books.

Saturday my dad went to buy us breakfast. I’m not supposed to be eating anything processed, but I do good the majority of the time. I had an egg and cheese biscuit. BJ woke up after some well deserved sleep. After eating and hanging out a little while he went to go buy a few of the straw bales for this year’s garden. We had originally planned on doing 10 bales, but due to costs and the fact that we have other projects going, we decided on doing 8 bales this year instead. We had 5 bales last year. I’m going to be growing some things in buckets and flower pots, plus we’ll have the big “H” shaped flowerbed of cinderblock. All the holes will be filled with edible herbs and maybe some vegetables.

We went to Jason’s Deli for lunch. We all ended up eating salads. When I started acupuncture the Dr told me to cut out as much oil as possible. I asked his staff what kind of dressing to put on my salads, because I usually put high fat ranch on them. They told me to use honey mustard instead. I found out that I really like the taste of it on a salad. I have made a couple this week using soy “chicken” strips that I cooked from frozen in a skillet.

Big Salad

My dad stayed for a while in the afternoon with us. He loves his grand-doggies and he took this picture of Denver getting one of his natural beef stick treats.

Happy Denver

 

We went out for a little dinner at Which Wich and drove thru downtown before heading home. BJ mostly watched basketball on tv while I looked at things online. I was sleepy by 8:30. So I went ahead and went to bed.

 

Beginning of the Week

The beginning of the week definitely started on a high note. Monday mornings are when I weigh-in each week. I had lost 3.5lbs last week, bringing me to a total lost since January of last week to 70 pounds.

70

I couldn’t be more thrilled! It’s truly been thru eating better, because I haven’t started exercising yet. My plan is to start exercising by walking in my neighborhood on the nice days, and also doing yoga.

Also my headaches are almost totally gone. Since I started the acupuncture, it’s been nothing short of miraculous. The strict diet given to me by the acupuncturist has helped me lose weight as well, but has been very difficult to follow. I think that eating a diet that has been very low in fats, sugars, and processed food has helped my brain begin to heal. I went to get my acupuncture in the afternoon.

After my acupuncture, I met BJ at Jason’s Deli for some dinner. I tried honey mustard dressing on a salad for the first time, and really liked it.

Monday was a rather quiet day overall. It was a nice start to the week.


 

Tuesday started out as quietly as Monday was. I watched my favorite tv show, and then headed to the sanctuary of my craft room.

Lap Joey

I was treated to Joey visiting with me while I sat in my comfy chair in the craft room. I read some, and worked on some product reviews. I am always on the search for different review opportunities.

I ended up falling asleep in my chair, I was awakened by a phone call. I was supposed to meet with someone for an appointment, and I mistakenly thought it was for Wednesday instead. I rescheduled for the next day.

I went for my acupuncture, and BJ got home not long after I got there. We didn’t want to watch the news, because it is just too depressing. Ever the fisherman, BJ suggested we get out of the house.

We headed to Madison County Lake, which is a peaceful manmade lake out in the country. BJ’s stress relieving, soul soothing activity is fishing. Somewhere, anywhere. Just fishing. A lady that works for him made this funny shirt for him.

Fishing Shirt

This shirt is so appropriate for him. It cracks me up.

BJFishing

Madison County Lake is state owned, so you have to buy a permit to go fishing. We’ve been coming here for fishing and picnics for about 7 1/2 years now. You really don’t have any cell phone signal, so it’s truly a getaway.

Lake 1The lake is surrounded by some beautiful mountains. All kinds of neat birds can be seen there including kingfishers and bald eagles. It’s such a delight to watch nature. I still wish I would’ve brought a book to read or something. BJ fished and fished, until before we knew it, it was getting dark.

 

Lake2

The lake closes at dusk, so they were ready to come run us off. BJ caught two fish, and decided he’d better go.


Wednesday I woke up rather early. I enjoyed some coffee and spent some time with BJ. We left about the same time, with him going to work, and I going to get acupuncture.

I have only had a few mild headaches over the past week. My acupuncturist started to work on my weight. He place mini-acupuncture needles into my abdomen. They don’t hurt, and if he thinks it’ll help me lose weight then I’ll try it.

After acupuncture I went to Hobby Lobby. I browsed the yarn aisle and got this.

Chunky Yarn

This yarn will be used on my Zippy Loom more than likely to make something interesting like a scarf. I also bought some beautiful buttons that are wooden and printed with beautiful things on them. I’m not sure what I want to use them in, but i thought I’d start a button box like my grandmother had when I was a child. I used to get the black metal box filled with buttons from a shelf over the refrigerator. I would go thru those buttons all the time as I was growing up.

After Hobby Lobby I went to Hancock Fabric where I found a few things on sale. I bought a pair of earrings, and I found a couple more buttons I wanted. Here is my favorite.

Pretty Button

I went to an appointment after shopping, and then I went to Garden Cove produce store. I found some yummy strawberries, and a few other goodies. Then I headed home.

BJ was working a closing shift so it was just me and the doggies. I spent some time doing a little work on a loom knit hat, and looking at some seed catalogs. I also got my new walking shoes in the mail.

New Walking Shoes

When it was time to feed Denver, I took his water and food with me along with some salmon oil that I squirt on top of the food. I also put a beef tendon in my pocket. He was ready to scarf down the food until I held the beef tendon up. He stared wide-eyed at it, and when I gave it to him, he ran out into the yard and wouldn’t even look back at me. He was totally focused. I went to bed about 9. A good start to the week.

 

Look Back at the Weekend

Joey Stick
Joey with a “Bully Stick” that I’m product testing.

Friday was a quiet day at home. I didn’t have any acupuncture visit, but I think I am starting to see the benefits of it. I only had a mild headache for part of the day. I spent time doing some loom knitting, and a little light housework. I made a pot of black eyed peas for our supper. When BJ got home from work, we got out of the house for a little while. We went to Ditto Landing where BJ could do some fishing. It was pretty much dark by the time we got there, but there are a lot of lights around so he could still see.


Saturday morning I woke up early to start some food in the crockpot so that we could have lunch together before BJ had to go to work. I got the recipe off the internet. It was quinoa, kale, great northern beans, and diced tomatoes. It also had vegetable broth and a few spices. It turned out really great even though I accidentally used the tomatoes with chilis in them. It was a little spicy, but we both enjoyed it. BJ had enough to take with him for his lunch at work.

I spent the evening mostly in my craft room. I listened to some music and worke on various projects. When I got the mail, I received a couple of product test items. One was the “Bully Stick” and beef tendon mix for the doggies. Joey chewed on his for a little bit, and then gave up on it. I brought Denver in the basement for the evening since it was supposed to get chilly. He absolutely loves rawhides and any kind of treat like that. You could hear him all the way upstairs gnawing on his.

Denver ChewsI headed off to bed before BJ even got off work. I have been getting sleepy earlier and earlier.


Sunday morning I woke up way before BJ, because he didn’t get home until after midnight. I’ve been doing really well on the plan to eat fruit before each meal. I had some honeydew before eating my scrambled eggs.

Later after BJ was up and about we went to Whole Foods and ate a little brunch. I am in love with their mock chicken salad. I could eat that every day, really. They had some great rosemary potatoes and pasta salad. I’m not supposed to be eating any processed food right now, so I sort of didn’t do too good with that. We picked up some more fruit there, and then headed to Ditto for BJ to fish some. He tried  to fish, but wasn’t out there very long. It was just too windy and cold.

For a late lunch we went to one of our favorite local restaurants. I had vegetarian chili and cornbread (I know, I know, it’s processed), and BJ had a black bean patty burger.

After eating we went to find some shoes for me to try on. I am about to start walking in my neighborhood, and I don’t have the best feet. I had researched some of the best shoes to buy for my feet. One of the most affordable choices was Sketchers Go Walk 3. I found some in Shoe Carnival, and they fit fine. I’m buying them online, because they’re cheaper that way. I should have my shoes by the middle of the week.

All in all the weekend was pretty quiet and uneventful. I’m looking forward to working on some projects this week.

 

 

Changing Things Up

After a lot of contemplation I decided to change a few things on my site. I have decided to not be so anonymous.

I will try to post as much as I can, but some days I just don’t really feel like posting. That’s just how it is, but I do want to post more frequently than I have been.

I have a ton of interests that pull me in a million directions at once, which is one of the reasons I kind of get sidetracked on writing on my blog.

February will be over tomorrow, and we’ll step into March. I never cease to be amazed at how quickly time passes by. I guess at some point it just all becomes a blur.

Here lately, I’ve really been focused on creating my own space in my craft room. Previously it has been a dumping ground for all things that had no real home in the house. It is not cleaned up, by any means, but it is slowly but surely improving. I have my recliner that I got at Big Lots (very comfy, by the way).

I’m trying to get together pieces of cloth to turn into a bohemian rag valance. If I ever get it done I’ll add a picture. I have a plant stand that came from BJ’s work. He stained it for me, and I’m going to put plants on it. My craft room gets western afternoon sun exposure. I think some plants will like it there. I’m planning on putting a few succulents in planters, because they’re cute and so easy to care for.

Plant Stand Staind

Soon we’ll begin our gardens. A cinderblock flowerbed with flowers and herbs in the holes, two straw bale gardens that will be 5 bales long a piece, and a fire pit. Next week we’ll start working on the beginning of the work for it. I have a ton of seeds to still go thru and sort.

Happy Leap Day!

Hungry Joey

 

Where Do We Go From Here

 

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Manatee Tea Infuser

So, I let my poor blog go off the rails. In fact over the holidays I must admit I let everything go off the rails, but the past is the past so now we’ll look forward.

We’re trying to get re-established in our budget habits. It’s amazing how quickly bad habits can sneak back into our lives, and how hard they are to break.

So what have we been up to? We had a wonderful Christmas with all of our family get togethers. We were blessed to receive some wonderful gifts. I loved the presents, but time with family is the most precious thing of all.

MrB had some time off for a vacation. We spent that quality time together just enjoying life, listening to old Christmas songs and watching Christmas movies. We discussed some of our plans for our future. I’m always glad to find out that we seem to be on the same page in most aspects of things.

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I’ve spent some of my time recently reviewing products from Amazon. I get a chance to get a product for a deep discount or free in exchange for an honest review. I’m going to try to restrain myself or the whole house will be full of junk. I am enjoying it though.

I’ve been working on some loom knitting. I’m planning on making knit hats for our local homeless. I’ve actually gotten a few really generous donations. My mom is trying to teach me to use a long loom where I could make scarves too. I’m slowly learning.

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I’m also working to turn my craft “junk” room into a true sanctuary for me to do many things. I want the space to be used for loom knitting, reading, and surfing the internet. I’m doing planning on how I want it to look. I went to Big Lots after Christmas and found a comfy recliner, and believe it or not, there was enough room to put it in there. Enough junk had been removed. I bought an end table off of Craigslist that has a small drawer. I went to Hobby Lobby with my dad to spend some of the gift card he got me. I bought a small lamp, and a decorative drawer pull for the end table.

I made true progress the other night while cleaning, because I actually threw away a stack of magazines I’ve been hanging onto for several years. I only saved a few important (to me anyway) magazines. I still have a little ways to go, but I’m confident I can do it. I will take some pictures as I make some progress


So the purpose of this blog from here on out is to follow all of the things that encompass my life. Like many others, I have a very wide array of interests. I may not write every day, because I put too much pressure on myself to come up with something to say. I want to write all kinds of different material here, and I hope it is interesting. Hopefully from here we’ll have a blog that is consistent and will be something that I can do for a long time.

 

Sunday on the River

Sunday morning I woke up around 7:00. It was pretty cool outside, so we waited for it to warm up before heading toward the river. As MrB prepared the boat, he told me I had something on the front porch. These guys greeted me.

Mums Mums1

I absolutely love mums, and I had asked MrB to see if he could get me some. I love surprises, so I was very happy.

We loaded up, and went to Subway for a little breakfast. I really should’ve prepared better for our eating. Next time we go out, I plan to have plenty of food choices. We stopped to get some water, and then we stopped for gas for the boat.

We arrived at the river, and got the boat in the water. We got our lifejackets on, and headed out into the main part of the water. We stopped for a while, and MrB caught a couple fish. It wasn’t as cold as I thought it’d be. I had practically been prepared for winter fishing. I had a long sleeve shirt on, a hoodie, and a thick coat. I also had thick socks on. I ended up getting hot, and took my socks off and was down to my shirt with the sleeves pushed up.

The scenery is always beautiful where we go. The mountains meet the river all around you. It is so peaceful. There are birds of all kinds in the air, and on the water.

Heron

While MrB was fishing, I was reading some of my herbal magazines. I’m learning some great information from my magazines, and I’m planning on learning as much as I can about herbal and non-traditional medicine.

When we finished our trip I was extremely hungry, so we went to Pizza Hut for a late lunch. We still have a lot to work on with the food situation so we don’t let ourselves get too hungry and end up eating out. Lessons are being learned every day.

We came home, and MrB started mowing the grass. I finished loom knitting one of my hats for a Christmas present, and then started on the next one. I went outside to say hello to Denver.

Denver1

I also checked out my herbs on the back deck, and I’m pleased with how they look. I’m going to harvest some of them soon. HerbGarden

After MrB finished mowing we watched some NFL games, and he stayed up longer than I did watching them.

Fabulous Friday

I woke up around 6:45. I first took our recycling out to the curb, because it had been too windy the night before to put it out. I did my meditation, and made a pot of coffee. I ate some pancakes, and I’m trying out agave nectar as the topping for my pancakes. I had a gastric bypass in 2008, and when I eat something sweet I sometimes get something called Dumping Syndrome. With it sugary or starchy food sometimes goes thru my stomach too quickly causing my blood sugar to drop. It causes shakiness and sweating. Maple syrup really causes problems, but it seems as though agave nectar is much easier on me.

MrB woke up about 8:30 and we visited until he had to go to work. He took a package of microwave madras lentils and the quinoa and rice mix I had cooked the day before for his lunch.

I spent some of the afternoon knitting and reading. I started two loaves of bread. It takes about 2 and a half hours from beginning to end. I decided to slice and freeze the bread, and just toast it when I want to use it. We just don’t go thru enough bread to eat two loaves before they start going bad.

Nice

After my bread was finished I cleaned house a little. I swept the kitchen and vacuumed the living room. Honestly, by nature, I’m a bit of a slob when it comes to housework, but I’m working on it slowly but surely. I don’t expect to become a domestic diva overnight, but as long as I’m making progress I’ll be happy.

After napping I washed my linen bread bags and some scarves of mine that had been in storage. I washed them on a delicates setting, and then partially dried the bread bags in the dryer. I draped the scarves over the shower curtain rod in my bathroom to dry. I wear fairly plain clothing usually, but I like to add a little with my accessories.

MrB was working an evening shift, so I spent the evening keeping myself occupied. I sometimes like to watch the show Mysteries at the Museum, and so I watched that some. I ate leftover pasta for dinner. I fed Denver, and he was in a very playful mood. I gave him lots of back scratches, and he gave me lots of kisses. Thankfully I’m able to keep my face away from him. He mostly kisses my hands, my pant’s legs, or even my shoes. He’s a sweet boy. Joey has improved a good bit with his mobility, but I’ve ordered some joint vitamins for him to start taking.

My foot warmer.
My foot warmer. He hates looking at the camera.

I was able to stay awake until MrB came home from work, but it wasn’t long before I was headed to bed.